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School teams up with Worldwide Christian Schools for Guatemala service trips

Written on March 13th, 2009

[caption id=”attachment_2913” align=”aligncenter” width=”300”]guatFS A group from Woodland Christian High School at Colegio Juan Wesley in Guatemala.[/caption]

Woodland Christian High School opens student’s eyes to the broader world

Woodland Christian High School in Breslau has teamed up with Worldwide Christian Schools for two service trips to support construction of a new school in Guatemala.

Located in San Cristobel, Guatemala, Colegio Juan Wesley needed a new building to accommodate its growth. Providing education to 300 students, the school had split into morning and afternoon sessions to maximize the seven church classrooms they were using.

A dozen Grade 12 students and two teachers from Woodland travelled to the school in December to help with the build. Due to the overwhelming interest, another group will be going back to the site at the end of June.

“Worldwide Christian schools gave us a lot of support,” says teacher Dave Graham, who went on the trip. The organization helped the school with airline tickets, passports, immunization and a leadership training day for the teachers.

Woodland’s trip preparation was part of its Special Emphasis Week, which has a local and international focus. The students organized chapels and fundraising events to support the trip.

[caption id=”attachment_2912” align=”alignright” width=”150”]student150 Student Jason Hordyk uses a pulley to lift sand to the third floor of the school.[/caption]

At Colegio Juan Wesley the group helped with landscaping, shifting sand, shovelling and moving paving stones.

“It was quite hard, physical labour,” says Graham, noting the difference in culture, as in Canada a machine would help with some of the work.

One night they attended a meeting with the school’s board of trustees. There was a language barrier, as the Woodland group didn’t speak Spanish and only one of the board members spoke English, but through a translator they had a beneficial meeting.

“It was really neat in terms of that brief meeting giving us the sense of Christianity as a global religion, as something that matters (and) makes a difference for all people,” says Graham.

“(The trip was) an opportunity for our students to see a different part of the world and to realize that the affluence we have here is not universal by any measure,” he says. “It was about opening the eyes of our students to a broader world.”

The trip also opened discussion about commitment to service and the willingness to give freely and energetically, even if there is some expense involved, says Graham.

A month after the trip the Woodland group planned a chapel for their school, sharing photos and stories.

“That was really positive, we got some good feedback,” says Graham, adding it was helpful to prepare the next team who are visiting Colegio Juan Wesley in June. This group will help the school, which was expected to open in February, prepare its third floor classrooms.

Worldwide Christian Schools is an international, non-denominational ministry focusing to provide Christian education for children, mainly in developing countries. Its vision is “to glorify God by ensuring that all people have access to Christian education.”

Learn more about Worldwide Christian Schools at wwcs.ca.